# *Free* Online visual tool to build estimation - and it is fun, too!

Hello, all,

I came across a free online visual tool to help build on visual estimation and number sense. There are two ways to play, regular start and surprise start, but they both have the same objective.  An array of objects will be shown, and you will select the card with a different number than the others. It took me a few minutes to figure it out but I can see how this would help with visual estimation and number sense.

Let me know your review, thoughts, or ideas  - is this something that is useful and how would you use it?

Brooke

Brooke, thanks for sharing this link! I had a lot of fun playing it myself, but I'm not sure how valuable it would be for students to play it. When I practice estimation with my students, it's so they have a tool they can use to check and see if an answer they got when they do the actual computation seems reasonable (or not). For example, today my class (no calculators allowed) did a problem to figure out how much money is withheld in a year (52 weeks), if \$19 is withheld each week. First, they estimated 50(\$20)=\$1000, then they calculated 52(\$19) and got \$988, which seemed reasonable based on their estimate.

I'll be curious to see how/if others envision using the interactive tool with their adult students.

Jethra, I had a lot of fun playing with it, too.  I could see this as a great warm-up activity or while students are on a break.  It is quick and fun, and it is always good to practice to become a better visual estimator.

### Yes.  Especially at the…

Yes.  Especially at the easier levels, it helps make the connection to what estimation actually *means* instead of it being A Math Problem Thing.

Hi Brooke,

This is a great find! I thought it was fun, so I added it to the Adult Numeracy Network's PLAY page.

I think these SAAMI visuals are great for estimation and subitizing, as well as for drawing out different counting strategies, which means I think they would also be great for Dot Talks.

If anyone is new to dot talks, they are a great way to show how visual math can be and how many different ways there can be to look even at a simple image. They take about 10-12 minutes to do.

In a dot talk, a teacher shows an image of dots for a couple of seconds and then asks students how many they saw. (The important thing is that students are not counting the dots one by one.) Then each student describes their way of seeing the dots. The teacher visually records each student's way of seeing and creates (or asks students to create) an expression representing the student's way of seeing.

Here's a link an image from dot talk I saw Patricia Helmuth, NY do, where she recorded different ways of seeing an arrangement of dots and their corresponding expressions.

For more resources on using dot talks in adult education classes, check out the ANN Instructional Routine Page

yours in productive struggle,

Mark